We are constantly using our hands; checking our phones for calls, texts, and emails, washing dishes, making food, cleaning up the house, doing yard work, and pretty much everything else! As a result, our fingernails go through a lot. Even if you don’t have the time to go get a manicure every week, there are still some things you can do to maintain healthy nails.

How to tell if you have healthy nails?

Healthy nails are smooth, with no grooves or pits, have no discoloration or spots, and are all one consistency. Any irregularity in your nail such as:

  • Bleeding around or under the nail
  • Nail color change like a dark streak, or discoloration of the whole nail
  • Changes in nail shape
    • If the nail starts to curve or flatten
  • Swelling around the nail
  • Thickening or thinning of the nails
  • Pain around the nail
  • If the skin pulls away from the nails

Should warrant a visit to your doctor, as these changes can be indicative of other medical problems. White (Terry’s) nails are associated with malnutrition, cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, and other conditions. Dark streaks under the nails are a normal thing for darkly pigmented people, but can also indicate melanoma! There are a wide variety of diseases that manifest symptoms in our nails, so make sure you see your doctor if you have any concerns.

Keeping your nails healthy:

First and foremost, keep your nails clean and dry! Bacteria just loves moisture. If your nails are constantly wet, they could split. Wear gloves when your hands are going to be wet for an extended period of time. For instance; while you’re washing dishes, cleaning, or using harsh chemicals.

Make sure your nails are trimmed properly as well. Long nails provide a great hiding place for dirt and bacteria to congregate, especially since it’s harder to clean under long nails. Trim the nail straight across, then round the tips gently. Proper nail trimming can also prevent ingrown nails.

Moisturizer isn’t just for skin. When you use lotion on your hands, rub some into your fingernails and cuticles. Much like skin, nails require proper moisturization to be healthy and beautiful. You can also use a nail hardener to strengthen your nails.

Things to avoid:

Do not bite your fingernails or cuticles! Not only does doing so damage the nail bed, but the bacteria under your nails gets introduced to your mouth, and the bacteria in your mouth introduced to your nail. It’s very bad for you! As is pulling off hangnails. You can pull live tissue off along with a hangnail. Instead, take clean nail scissors or clippers and snip the hangnail off. Harsh nail care products can also hurt your nails. If you must use a polish remover, opt for acetone-free formulas.

Maintaining healthy nails isn’t hard. You may need to break a few bad habits, but in the end, your nails will be much better for it. Do you have any skin or nail care questions? Call Spa Atlantis and we’ll be happy to answer them!

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